My rating on a 1-10 scale: 8
Genre: Classic, life, romance, period drama
Primary actors: Samantha Morton, Ciaran Hinds, Gemma Jones
Length: Two hours (so it felt fast…Jane Eyre is a big book)
Based on: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Time period: 1800s
Year it came out: 1997 (this is the A&E version)
My overall opinion: Well, Jane Eyre has some strange parts, but this movie didn’t play them down at all, that’s for sure! I’m not saying it made them bigger than they were either, but they certainly weren’t hidden at all. As you period-drama-knowledgeable readers may have noticed, this film included several Doubles. These included Samantha Morton (Harriet in a version of Emma), Ciaran Hinds (Captain Wentworth in the 1995 Persuasion), and Gemma Jones (Mrs. Dashwood in the 1995 S&S). There was one other as well, an older lady who appears in Wives and Daughters and Cranford as well.
The costumes were quite unremarkable. I understand that Jane had little money for clothes, but I did feel that she had one dress (a purple one) to wear most of the time and another (a green one) to wear on occasion…and that was all. I like variety in my clothes and in the clothes of people in period-dramas, so that was a bit disappointing. The soundtrack too was unremarkable.
However, this version stayed quite close to the book, though as I mentioned, it felt rushed. Two hours…it’s hard to get a book that size into so little time. Interestingly, it didn’t show the most climatic scene (well, actually, maybe it’s not…the scene…how to describe without giving it away…the scene in which Mr. Rochester changes). It was merely described later. That’s also how it is in the book, but it seems like something that a movie would have been tempted to overplay. So all in all…it was a good movie, though not amazing.